Cardi B, one of the most discussed, revered and free-spirited artists in the hip-hop game right now has garnered some much deserved accolades, success and obvious controversy. The legendary Ebro and Rosenberg debate Cardi B’s industry prosperity. Without a doubt we know she’s killing the game, working hard, staying booked and winning myriad awards. However, the question remains: Is Cardi B’s success a hip-hop victory for New York?
New York the birthplace of hip-hop and the mother of some of the most legendary MC’s to ever bless a mic from Nas, to Biggie to Jay to Lil Kim, Remy MA etc. remains one of the hardest cities of lyrical creatives to follow suit after. Hip-hop’s evolution either amazes you or disgusts you. Cardi B makes her own version of hip-hop but if we’re taking it back 20 years and comparing her flows to female originators like Queen Latifah or Monie Love obviously she doesn’t fall in that same written bracket – yet – hence, we don’t know what else will come from her.
A win for New York – yes – a win for hip-hop – yes, to an extent – in all honesty it’s mostly a win for Cardi and her public rise from adult entertainer to a real adult entertainer!
There are a mass of adroit artists in New York hustling like tomorrow isn’t promised but we are not glorifying them like we do Cardi. I agree with both sides of their argument. Cardi deserves her success and recognition but so do other artists. Is it fair to marginalize other rising musicians because they don’t have the numbers she’s grossed – no – but obviously that’s what’s going on. However, in the same breath it’s safe to say she doesn’t have much competition in her musical lane other than Nicki Minaj and Remy who we know have already made their mark.
Furthermore, the BET Hip-Hop Awards by no means honored enough of hip-hops’ current trailblazers like Logic, Joyner Lucas, DRAM, Vic Mensa, SIYA, Russ, Leikeli47, Rapsody amid a multitude of others but they esteemed who fit their mold. Cardi B deserves all her winnings but it’s our job to eulogize other artists who have built their careers off of hip-hops’ founding parental units as well.
The fact is every music genre has evolved in some way shape or form. True music connoisseurs are not going to stop listening to those spitting bars and attempting to mirror greats like Nas and Eminem while others will listen to those who make a mockery of the craft (not naming any artists in particular). We cannot control that but we can fortify those who are thriving while simultaneously exalting those whose following isn’t in the millions but their work ethic is unprecedented.